NORTH: Developing a mobile health intervention to support treatment seeking in early psychosis
A long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is linked with poorer long-term outcomes and recovery. Despite frequent reluctance to seek services, young adults with EP often engage with mental health resources through online and mobile technologies. There are few available digital health tools designed for young adults with EP who are not connected to in-person care. Mobile health interventions appear particularly well suited to this population given the fact that mobile devices are the primary media source for most young adults and can provide individualized, real-time, real-place support to introduce users to psychosocial interventions involved in CSC. It remains unclear at present, however, whether and how remotely delivered mHealth can be leveraged to increase engagement in treatment for young adults with EP.
The proposed research project proposes to develop and test an mHealth intervention, Normalizing Orientation to Treatment and Help-Seeking (NORTH). This intervention will be designed to reduce DUP through providing support and impacting help-seeking beliefs. It will take a user-centered design approach with individuals who are both engaged and unengaged in treatment, including (1) a contextual inquiry to understand barriers, interests and preferences related to mHealth and in-person treatment, (2) development, refinement and usability testing, and (3) a pilot randomized controlled trial assessing feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy compared to an active control mHealth intervention providing only stress management.
Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (K23MH122504)